Even though College Station's city council lowered its tax rate, some residents are still paying more in taxes. That's because overall, the city's property values are on the rise.
"The increase in property values is probably due to a number of things. College Station continues to be a popular place to be in terms of the new building that's happening, we see new home construction," said Jeff Kersten, College Station's Finance Director.
Revenue from property taxes makes up roughly $15 million of the city's budget. The money is used to pay for debts and general city operations. The city points out that it lowered property taxes last year, and plans to do so again. But tax officials say that may not tell the whole story.
"So if the value goes up on your home even though the tax rate goes down, it is possible that you could pay more in taxes this year than last year," said Kristy Roe, Chief Deputy for the Brazos County Tax Office.
In 2003, the average property value in College Station was a little over $146,000. The tax rate was .4777% and taxes owed averaged nearly $700.
Then in 2004, the average property value rose to a little over $155,000, while the tax rate decreased to .4653%. But that's a total of about $723, so taxpayers paid about $24 more. Still the city says that every year, it tries to keep costs down.
"We can reach a budget and not have to raise taxes. It makes us feel really good about the services we're giving to the citizens of College Station," said Ron Silvia, College Station's Mayor.
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